Malaysia: 30-millionth Malaysian would be born at about 2am, Thursday

When dawn breaks on Malaysia Thursday morning, the country's population will have broken the 30 million number.

According to the "Population clock published on the Malaysia Statistics Department" website, the country has 29,999,530 citizens at 6.43pm Wednesday, 26th February 2014.

Based on population clock, approximately one birth rate occurs every minute, which makes it 60 babies every hour. Thus, the 30 millionth figure will be reached at approximately 2am on Thursday.

According to the population projections, the figure will reach 38.5 million people by the year 2040, comprising 19.6 million males and 19 million females.
The 2040 population is expected to be made up of Malays (20.9 million), other bumiputra citizens (5.2 million), Chinese (7.1 million), Indians (2.3 million) and others (240,000).

The non-Malaysian population is expected to increase to 2.3 million.

As of 2010, the country’s population was made up of the bumiputra group (67.4%), Chinese (24.6%), Indians (7.3%) and others (0.7%).

On Sunday, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said by 2030, it was expected that 15% of the Malaysian population would consist of senior citizens.
Dept of Statisitc/theSTAR 27-02-2014

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Organ Donations

Despite an aggressive campaign to increase the number of organ donors over the years, only 0.812% or 243,713 of the 30 million Malaysians today have pledged their organs, leaving the 18,384 people needing transplants in a quandary.

The Malaysian government and the National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC) are at their wits' end on how to increase the number of donors.

It is learnt that of the 446 organ donors recorded since 1997, many were not pledgers but had their organs donated by their family.

Of the 18,384 patients on the NTRC waiting list, 18,347 are for kidneys, 15 adults and seven children (liver), four (heart), seven (lungs) and heart and lungs (four). 

Last year, the NTRC received organs from 44 donors comprising 25 kidneys, two livers, a heart, 59 corneas, 14 heart valves, 10 bones and a skin.

"We have more than 6,000 people, especially youths, dying in road accidents every year and if only the family members could donate their organs, many lives can be saved," said NTRC head, Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor.

In the first two months of this year, 1,451 pledged organs of whom 557 were Chinese, Indians (503), Malays (345) and others (46).

Lela said the majority of organ pledgers were from Perak, Selangor and Penang with almost all pledging their all organs and tissues.    
  theSUN 27-02-2014              

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IHH Healthcare: Financial Results for 2013

Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd, Asia's largest hospital operator, posted earnings of RM631.16mil in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2013 compared with RM750.79mil in FY12 when there were exceptional items.

It said on Thursday, 27th February 2014, its revenue fell 2.9% to RM6.75bil from RM6.96bil.

However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, exchange differences & other non-operational items (EBITDA) increased 6% to RM1.66bil.

"Stripping out one-off effects of the sale of Novena medical suites in 2012, contribution from PLife REIT and exceptional items, the group's underlying operational performance saw strong growth, with revenue up 18% to RM6.75bil.

"EBITDA increased 32% to RM1.5bil and profit after tax and minority interests (PATAMI) rose a significant 70% to RM602.50mil," it said.

IHH Healthcare said the strong revenue and EBITDA performance were due to organic growth of existing operations and ramping up of new hospitals. It explained that both Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Acibadem Ankara Hospital achieved positive EBITDA in 2013.

IHH Healthcare also consolidated full 12 months of Acibadem Holdings performance in 2013 compared with 11 months in 2012 when the group acquired Acibadem Holdings on Jan 24,  2012.

It added the group recovered about RM22mil in relation to prior year tax and investment tax allowances of RM22.9mil to offset the incremental depreciation and finance costs from three new hospitals in Singapore and Turkey upon completion of construction in 2012.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2013, it posted net profit of RM230.10mil, up 47% from RM156.51mil a year ago. Its revenue rose 16.5% to RM1.78bil from RM1.527bil. Earnings per share were 2.83 sen compared with 1.94 sen.

IHH Healthcare also announced a dividend policy of no less than 20% of the group's PATAMI excluding exceptional items. It recommended a first and final single tier cash dividend of 2.0 sen for FY13.
theSTAR 27-02-2014

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Blessed FIRST Anniversary - 1st April, 2014

In  about a month's time ie1st April, this site,, will be commemorating its' FIRST Anniversary!

Praise and thank God for the journey and I pray that this challenging journey will continue as long as there is high traffic passing through ...

I pray that many visitors who dropped by thus far, and presumably, many regulars, have found this site useful and beneficial whether on the facts of the healthcare or economy of Malaysia or on some of my experiences, encounters and philosophies of my life.

In other words, this site would have achieved its objective if you have found this site 1) useful and informative 2) given you another perspective 3) encourages you 4) wanting to repeat your visits to the site.

If not, I would be glad to enhance the site's contents and values, where relevant, if there are suggestions or feedbacks received from the many of you who come by.
Suggestions or feedbacks can be through the "Contact Us" tab at the Home Page or through my email address: 

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to your continuous visits.

ps: Please also "click" on this: "WELCOME" for the "Welcoming Message" and for the Message on the 2nd Anniversary. Thank you.

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Malaysia: International Reserves - USD 136 bilion at end-2014

Alliance Research has maintained its end-2014 target of Bank Negara Malaysia's international reserves at $136 billion (RM448.7 billion) on renewed confidence in the country's economy.

Economist Manokaran Mottain said the total market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia had rebounded slightly to RM1.66 trillion on February 14 versus RM1.64 trillion on January 30, suggesting the outflow of short-term capital could have eased over the past two weeks.

"This could be due to confidence gained in the economy, following the stronger-than-expected fourth quarter gross domestic product growth of 5.1% and widening current account surplus of RM16.2 billion," he said in a note.
Manokaran said this is further supported by an improvement in the local currency, which appreciated from RM3.3464 per US dollar on January 30 to RM3.2912 on February 14.

"Despite the outflow from reserves, our estimate for the excess liquidity in the banking system suggests a marginal increase to RM265.4 billion, from RM262.9 billion two weeks ago," he added.

On February 21, the central bank released a statement saying international reserves amounted to $132.3 billion as at February 14, sufficient to finance 9.2 months of retained imports and is 3.4 times the short-term external debt.
Bernama: 24-02-2014

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Pharmaniaga: 2013 Earnings

Pharmaniaga, a leading Malaysian healthcare company is driven by its core businesses namely, generic pharmaceuticals manufacturing and R & D, warehousing and distribution of pharmaceutical and medical products, sales & marketing as well as hospital projects.

Pharmaniaga has also created a niche in healthcare IT solutions which forms the backbone of its operations

Pharmaniaga Bhd's pre-tax profit for the financial year ended December 31, 2013 fell to RM93 million from RM103.31 million in the 2012 financial year ended December 31, 2012. Revenue rose to RM1.95 billion from RM1.81 billion.

For the fourth quarter, the pharmaceutical company's pre-tax profit rose to RM33.01 million from RM4.25 million in the same period in 2012, while revenue increased to RM567.86 million from RM482.40 million.

Pharmaniaga said the higher revenue for the current financial year was attributable to stronger contributions from its non-concession business with new tenders awarded during the year as well as an organic growth for its concession business.
On prospects, Pharmaniaga said its Logistics and Distribution Division is expected to contribute positively to the group's revenue, riding on strong demand for its concession products during the year.

"Similarly, the manufacturing division anticipates healthy growth despite the recent rise in operating costs such as for fuel and electricity, as this will be mitigated by prudent cost management," it said.

In line with its efforts to expand within emerging markets, the group intends to engage more overseas distributors and business partners as well as expand its overseas market footprint through acquisitions, it said.

"With our recently acquired new manufacturing plant in Indonesia, it is anticipated that the group's strategic manufacturing plans will contribute positively to the group's long-term revenue," it added.

Pharmaniaga said it will continue to transfer best practices from its domestic operations to accelerate business growth in its overseas operations.

"In the meantime, we will continue to devote effort to research and development of new products," it said.
Bernama: 24-02-2014.


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Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Do you want to be different and stand out in the crowd? Or are you the mediocre type who are easily contented and satisfied to be among the crowd - not seen, not heard ... not wanting to challenge the norms or "pushing the envelopes" in order to cross into a new space.

I trust that with the beginning of 2014, if you are the mediocre type or are afraid to make changes or lack confidence, yet desiring to be numbered among the "successful" and "heard", you should take the first bold step to position and differentiate yourself from the rest of the faceless crowd. 

How? Be God fearing and seek God for wisdom. Tell yourself that you want to be among the people who are successful. Seek these people out and be part of their community. Think like them and behave like them in a God fearing manner. Heard of the Law of Attraction?

It is said that long term success is like a deep-rooted sturdy tree. It is able to withstand the great tsunami of life. Shallow rooted and weak tree will be easily uprooted and blown away when the forces of nature come its way.

Similarly, our lives, to be successful, like the deep-rooted sturdy tree, we need to arm and equip ourselves with the relevant knowledge, skill and people network. We need to have positive attitude, behaviour, good values, humble, persevere and longsuffering.

Additionally, identify and seek out people who can encourage and keep you focus and move towards your goal ie look for a mentor and positive network! Do not grumble, whine or "talk negative" when there is a setback, for this will soon pass away. Instead, ask why and provide solutions!

Join and align with the winners, and NOT the "grumblers, whiners, finger-pointers" ... these are the losers and will be among the faceless, unhappy crowd.

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B Braun expands its Pharmaceutical Plant in Malaysia

In addition to the MYR 1.75 billion investment in 2010, B Braun Medical Industries Sdn Bhd announced, on 13-02-2014, a further investment of MYR 250 million into the expansion of its Pharmaceutical plant located at the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone in Penang.   

The plant will manufacture sterile infusion solutions to cater to the increasing demand from both the local and the regional markets.
The expansion project with its state-of-the art automated equipment and technology will manufacture new formulations as well as  further add to the total capacity of the enlarged plant.  The increased capacity will be utilized for both local and export markets making B. Braun among the largest exporters of pharmaceutical products in Malaysia.


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CCM invests into PanGen: Biosimilars

Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM) has accelerated its foray into the biosimilars business with the purchase of an 11.6 per cent equity stake in PanGen Biotech, Inc, (PanGen) a Korean biotechnology company.

The investment concluded through a share purchase agreement signed on 26 December 2013 also gives CCM exclusive marketing and commercialization rights in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei for all biosimilar products developed by PanGen.

“The investment reaffirms CCM’s Pharmaceuticals Division’s commitment into biotechnology and specifically biosimilars, which are follow-on versions of existing biopharmaceutical products whose patents have expired,” said Encik Amirul Feisal Bin Wan Zahir, Group Managing Director of CCM.

PanGen is not a stranger to CCM as it is already a partner in historic joint Phase III clinical trials for an Erythropoietin (EPO) biosimilar developed for use in the treatment of anemia in end stage kidney failure patients,” he added. The Clinical trial is currently underway and is aimed at assessing the safety and efficacy of the EPO biosimilars in patients with anemia arising from chronic renal failure.

The biosimilars business, which is dominated by global pharmaceutical players, is expected to expand at a compounded average growth rate of 12 per cent in Asia to an estimated RM8 billion in the South East Asia region by 2020.

In this regard, CCM’s equity stake in PanGen allows its Pharmaceuticals Division to have a strategic access to a biosimilars pipeline that is being produced as there are very few start-up biological companies globally with the expertise, track record and range of cell lines already developed by PanGen.

This latest development will also propel the CCM Group to compete for high value added partnership in the commercialization of biosimilars while eliminating the need to invest in very expensive clinical trials and long gestation periods to deliver the product to market.


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For Consideration: Moving to Greener Pasture ...

It is not unusual, at this time of the year, for employees to look outside their existing turfs for "greener pastures" outside. It will be a "merry-go-round" as employees "switch chairs" for another.

It would be appropriate, at this juncture, to remind job seekers to consider not only the basic remuneration but also the "performance-linked incentives and long-term rewards for the compensation mix" before making any decision to move on.

Assuming that you have received severable job offers, you will need to compare each Company's compensation plan against another. A great jump in the basic salary offered should not close your eyes to the overall package.

This would include (a) direct financials: salary, bonus, incentives, allowances, claims etc (b) indirect financials:  medical (out-patient and/or hospitalisation), insurance benefits (life and/or PA - self or including family), company car, sponsorship of part-time study, study leaves, annual leaves, compassionate leaves etc (c) non-financials: work culture and environment, Company policy, career opportunities, focus and direction of the Company etc

The highest salary that the Company offers, may not necessarily be the best package value for you. For example, medical and insurance packages may not translate into your immediate monthly "take home pay" but will be valuable benefits when unfortunate circumstances demand it. You need to look beyond immediate numbers to have a peace of mind as well. This will be to you and your loved ones.

Work environment and culture are also important considerations. They should be viewed as "additional compensations" eg  work ambience, entrepreneur, innovative and creative culture etc would add to the joy, productive and conducive work place.

Thus, there is a need to harmonise the non-financial benefits with the Company's performance-linked incentives and long-term rewards for the compensation mix in the decision making process. 

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Creating Effective Salary Packages for CEOs

CEOs and key top management staff are enjoying higher total salary packages as more organisations move towards performance-linked incentives and long-term rewards for the compensation mix, said management consulting firm Hay Group Malaysia.

"The era of fixed salaries for firms operating in Malaysia is waning. Bonuses too are seen as incentives which are too short-term focused, whereas longer term rewards are better at driving sustainable value creation for the organisation," said its director Shahrizal Suffian.

He added that CEO total salary benchmarks are not always linked to the organisation's profitability.

"Market reach, customer service levels and other business aims have become more important as firms are embracing a more holistic outlook, recognising profits are positive outcomes when key performance targets are achieved," he said.

Hay Group Malaysia, which has been involved in crafting CEO total remuneration packages for several major organisations have discovered that stock options are not always seen as attractive perks any more.

According to Hay Group Malaysia, the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) since 2006 has resulted in stock options becoming an expense item in the reporting of earnings, with an impact on revenue and profit when previously it was seen as "free" rewards that cost the company nothing.

Shahrizal said many companies had stock options in the past but the simplistic formula does not necessarily spur the CEO to drive growth while long-term incentives that are customised to business strategies and takes into account the firm's culture and operating nuances have produced far better results.

How do you craft long-term incentives to spur a CEO to grow the company? He suggested sophisticated profit-sharing models with features like hurdle rates and tiering of profits to trigger rewards.

 He said a retention mechanism should also be included, allowing the firm to better manage its cash flow for example "bonus banking" where CEOs don't get the rewards unless the company's targets are achieved and continuous growth of those targets are also maintained over a set number of years.
"For instance, if the CEO has achieved the targets in the previous five years, the sixth-year bonus can be huge. Conversely, the 'banked bonuses' will be lost if subsequent year targets are unmet," he said.

Shahrizal said a long-term incentive is especially useful for firms seeking to turn around operations and reduce losses as they would otherwise be unable to offer enough to attract top talents. He added that such a strategy would work if the CEO is able to institute the right team behaviour within the firm.

Source: theSUNdaily 05-02-2014

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Malaysia: Global 3rd best for Healthcare services

Malaysia is being rated as third best in the world for healthcare services

The Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam gave credit to the boom in the country’s medical tourism sector through strategic investments on good medical facilities and competitive rates compared to other parts of the world.

“Medical tourism has benefited the Government in terms of foreign direct investments and also spin-off effects in the hotel and shopping sectors,” he said.

A study by the American publication International Living rated Malaysia’s healthcare system as the third best out of 24 countries in its 2014 Global Retirement Index, beating Spain, Italy, Ireland and New Zealand among other countries.

The index, which was recently released by the Baltimore-based magazine, praised Malaysia’s healthcare, which scored 95 out of a possible 100 points, as the medical expertise of Malaysian healthcare practitioners is “equal to or better than what it is in most Western countries” according to’s Asia correspondent Keith Hockton.

The top two countries, France and Uruguay, scored 97 and 96 points respectively.

On the methodology of the index’s ratings, the magazine said both the cost and quality of healthcare were evaluated.

Another report in International Medical Travel Journal News reported that medical tourism receipts in Malaysia from foreign patients totalled RM509.77mil in 2011 involving 578,403 patients.

Dr Subramaniam added that Malaysia remained competitive with players like Singapore and Thailand and the focus was to consolidate the country’s position.

He said the key towards improving the overall healthcare sector would be to focus on the preventive and primary healthcare divisions.
Source: theSTAR 11-02-2014

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